A great favourite as it is prime tiger country and not that far from Delhi. A five hour train ride to Rajastan will take you to Sawai Madhopur, the closest town, and in this colder weather of a Delhi winter the relative warmth of Ranthambore is really quite wonderful. So are Khem Villas where we stayed and enjoyed the comfort of beautiful surroundings, eco friendly practices and a vegetarian menu almost all locally sourced from their extensive and well run vegetable garden.
Meeting the owners, Usha and Govanden was an extra bonus particularly being able to hear how Usha's father- in- law is considered by most as the founding father of the park and all the work that has gone on to conserve the tiger populations.
When there, a visit to Ranthambore Fort is an absolute must. A beautiful fort built on a hill with amazing views of the park and the lakes and the Aravalli hills in the distance. The fort dates back to 944 and has been the prize of various rulers and maharajas over the year finally coming into the hands of the Maharaja of Jaipur who used it as his hunting ground. You enter through a gateway; Smooth and wide steps lead up to the fort and when you get to the top you enjoy the most breathtaking view of the lake below and the surrounding plains.A summer residence lies along the banks of the lake. The fort houses some Jain and Hindu temples and a plethora of peacocks and monkey families. They are eveywhere and always fun to watch and photograph.